When I suggested three days ago that perhaps venture capitalists didn’t have superhuman powers to avoid bias by following the smell of money, I wasn’t expecting this gem from Tom Perkins:

Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?

Tom Perkins

San Francisco

Mr. Perkins is a founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Wow. I mean, I suppose it’s possible that VC’s only have blind spots about their wealth-based privilege, not their gender-based privilege, but that does not seem likely to me. (I assume that Perkins thought favorably of the editorial he cited, after all.) And this isn’t an off-the-cuff interview, this isn’t him quoted out of context: this is a letter he wrote to a national newspaper.

I’m not surprised that Kleiner Perkins immediately distanced themselves from the letter. And I assume that this kind of view is extreme within the VC community. But I don’t know; it’s a business that comes down to personal judgments expressed behind closed doors, so the rest of us don’t have a lot of direct insight into what the industry is like, what motivates its leaders.

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